February 22, 2013– The 2012/13 Radical Winter Cup run by AUH Motorsports returned to the Dubai Autodrome for round five and turned on a display which was dominated by close racing throughout the field, spins and penalties.
Race one provided entertainment straight from the time the lights went out to signal the start. Frenchman Ludovic Loffreda stopped on the back straight on the opening lap with a broken right driveshaft. The luckless Loffreda suffered a snapped left driveshaft earlier in the day and his stranded car forced the field to come under a Code 60 caution period.
With no overtaking and averaging 60kmh, the race was suspended until his car was retrieved and towed back to the pits.
Unfortunately Saudi driver Mohammed Jawa and Salem Al Nusif from Kuwait overtook under the Code 60 and were forced to take drive through penalties. Up front, SR8 drivers AbdulRahman Al Thani started from pole and Bassam Kronfli were off to a flying start with Kronfli taking the lead into turn one. On the re-start Kronfli was jumped by Tony Wells and Al Thani forcing him back in to third.
The SR3 of Gordon Mellis and Tarek Elgammal had a race they’d rather forget as Mellis failed to take his mandatory pitstop to hand over to Elgammal and drove the full distance solo. Despite completing the race, the car was excluded from the results.
After the pitstops for driver changes, Jordan Grogor who took over the car from Al Thani chased after Kronfli and dived down the inside of the club link with just minutes remaining in the 45-minute timed race. The move didn’t pay off and Kronfli spun which also allowed James Littlejohn to move into first place.
The Wells/Littlejohn duo took a well-deserved win from Kronfli who clawed his way back to pass the Al Thani/Grogor car.
“The track was so different from this morning’s warm up. It was so slippery out there,” Kronfli said.
Saudi driver, Jawa made an outstanding comeback after taking his drive through penalty and claimed the SR3 class win.
Things settled down a bit for race two with Kronfli starting on pole from Littlejohn while Elgammal was the fastest SR3 in fourth outright.
Elgammal drove the race solo chasing down the SR8 leaders, however along with Loffreda and Wells, he suffered a pitlane time infringement resulting in all three cars getting 25 seconds added to their overall race time.
Battles raged through the field with Loffreda and Maurice Faber split by hundredths of a second for most of the race down in sixth while Graeme Hannah and Mark Jordan, sharing the Emal car, also had a race long tussle with Aschkan Abdul-Malek fighting for 10th.
John Marshall’s run of bad luck continued, retiring on lap eight but it was all good news for Grogor/Al Thani who took the win from Wells/Littlejohn with another brilliant drive from GR8’s Mohammed Jawa taking third outright and winning the SR3 class.
“It’s been a good weekend’s racing that’s for sure. Everything is coming together with our car and the racing is hot but we’re competitive which is the important thing,” Jawa said
Round six will be held at the Dubai Autodrome on March 7 and 8.
Report submitted b y AUH Motorsports/Damien Reid
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